If you’re building out and optimizing your Pinterest profile, you’ve probably been doing a lot of reading lately, so I’ll skip the intro and get straight to the point! Let’s talk about keywords on Pinterest and where you should put them.
Why taking the time to put keywords in the right places on Pinterest is worth your time
First, why is this even something you want to take the time to do?
Short answer? Searchability. SEO. More people will see your pins and your profile, giving you more opportunities to entice them to click over to your website.
I see people in Facebook groups asking all the time, “What happened to Pinterest lately?” “Where did my monthly views go?” Sometimes after looking at the OP’s profile, it becomes apparent that their Pinterest boards and pins aren’t optimized for Pinterest search.
When you don’t take the time to optimize your pins and profile, you might experience spikes of traffic and views but you’ll have a lot of trouble with consistent growth.
Step 1: How to use keywords on your Pinterest profile
Let’s start with something simple, but important. We’re going to try to make your Pinterest profile as “searchable” as possible. When other users search for keywords related to your niche, your profile should come up in those searches.
That being said, you don’t want to keyword stuff your profile with a million keywords. You’ll have to pick a few popular ones that resonate with your target audience.
Go to your Pinterest profile and click on “Settings” in the top-right corner of the page.
Then, fill out the “display name” with your name or your business name, followed by a short description of what your profile is about. I chose two keywords that are related to what I blog about. You won’t be able to add much more than this, so be selective about what keywords you choose.
After that, move onto the “About your profile” section. You have some more room to play around here, so you can be a little more creative. Add some relevant keywords but make sure that the description communicates what your profile is all about.
Here’s what mine looks like from the front end of the profile:
Step 2: How to create relevant boards for your account (+ how to name those boards)
Next, you need to create boards that are relevant to your target audience. Whether or not you’re starting this Pinterest account from scratch, you’ll have some work to do here.
Your first order of business is deleting boards that don’t have anything to do with your audience. You can also make them secret boards so that they won’t be seen by anyone other than you. Any personal boards that you keep for personal use/reference you’ll probably want to delete or make secret.
Why? The lower engagement on these boards will negatively affect your profile’s total engagement rate. Pinterest will notice this and won’t suggest your pins to other Pinterest users as often, because it sees that your pins aren’t doing as well.
So, give a lot of thought to what your target audience is searching for. If you have an established audience on Pinterest already and that audience aligns with your brand, you can use the “Audience Insights” tab of your Pinterest analytics to take a look at what your audience is actively searching for.
Keep in mind that if you’ve been pinning without a strategy, your audience insights won’t necessarily reflect the interest of your target audience. They will reflect the interests of the random people who have seen your pins on Pinterest in the last 30 days.
Only use these analytics if you know that you’ve been targeting your ideal customers or readers on Pinterest for over a month or more.
Create boards (20 is a good number of boards to start with) that your ideal audience would find helpful. Here are some of mine:
Name the boards by using keywords that people actually search for. Avoid using adjectives like “yummy” or “perfect” in your board names, because people don’t search like that. “Easy Dinner Recipes | Family Friendly Dinners” is a much better board name than “Yummy Food I Want to Eat”, for example, because it’s searchable.
If you have relevant boards on your profile already, take a look at your board names to see if you can fit any more keywords into them or make them more searchable.
Step 3: How to use keywords in Pinterest board descriptions
This step is kind of time-consuming, but it makes a big difference. Write a board description for each of your Pinterest boards. Add keywords to them, but make them conversational as well.
People will see these descriptions when they search for boards and if they click on a board when they land on your profile. So you definitely don’t want it to appear spammy.
To add a description to a Pinterest board, click on a board and then click the pencil icon.
Then, add your board description into the box. Aim for 2-3 sentences with 2-5 relevant keywords in total.
Select a category for your board as best as you can. This is harder for a lot of blogging/business-related topics. I generally choose “Education” for most of these, as there is no “Business” category. If you’re a food, home, DIY, or mom blogger, you’re in luck – all of these are categories on Pinterest.
Don’t worry too much if you’re in the same boat as me with the category thing. Pinterest is not just for craft bloggers – many business-related accounts are generating tons of traffic from Pinterest. Just make sure the keywords you’re using are what your audience is searching for.
Step 4: How to add a pin description to your pin the right way (Not in the alt text attribute)
There’s a little bit of a misunderstanding going around as far as alt text attributes go. If you’ve tried to start optimizing your site for Pinterest, you might have been told to write your pin description in the alt text attribute of your pin image.
This is actually not great for SEO, because alt text attributes are meant for accessibility purposes (Here’s how to write great alt text for your images).
While your alt text attribute should probably contain a keyword related to your content, it needs to be a concise description of the image rather than a long, rambling Pinterest description with hashtags.
Where to put your pin description
Put it in the “data-pin-description” attribute instead of the “alt” attribute. This is Pinterest’s preferred place to pull the description from because it’s a tag meant for Pinterest descriptions.
In WordPress, there isn’t a default option to add this description from your media folder or after you upload an image. To add the “data-pin-description” attribute, you’ll need to head to the “text” side of your WordPress editor and add it to your image code.
Here’s a great tutorial by Kristie Hill on how to add Pinterest-compliant descriptions to the pins on your blog. She goes into even more depth on why you should take the time to do this.
Pinterest is actively switching their preferences to the data-pin-description attribute, so if you choose not to switch them over you may end up with empty pin descriptions or pins that just show the article title in the description instead.
Step 5: Writing the actual pin description
A big part of placing keywords on Pinterest happens each time you create a new pin. Write a unique pin description for each of your pins and put them in the data-pin-description attribute.
I’d aim for 2-5 sentences describing your article and making use of keywords without getting spammy. Make the descriptions conversational and not formal.
Also, throw in a couple of hashtags at the end. There’s not a ton of definitive research done about hashtags on Pinterest, but some say it might expand your reach a little bit.
Doesn’t hurt to try! I wouldn’t add more than 5 or so – this isn’t Instagram!
Here’s an example of a pin description that won’t do much for you:
“Best Amazon Home Decor – My Favorite Things from Amazon for Fall”
And here’s an example of a better pin description:
“Looking for a few affordable fall home decor ideas? Check out these super inexpensive picks from Amazon! I’ve rounded up my favorite 10 farmhouse decor pieces that are under $20. #affordablehomedecor #farmhousedecor #amazonhomedecor #cheaphomedecor”
To sum it up
Just gonna recap a little bit here! Do this stuff to optimize your Pinterest profile + receive more views, repins, and traffic
- Use keywords in your profile name + description
- Create relevant boards for your followers. Put keywords into the titles of those boards. Select a category for each board.
- Write keyword-rich, yet conversational + helpful board descriptions for each of your boards
- Be sure to add your pin description to the data-pin-description attribute and not the alt attribute
- Write pin descriptions for each pin on your website. For each pin, try to create a description that’s a little different (even if it’s for the same post).
Thanks for reading and hope you found this helpful!
Want to save this for later? Pin it! 🙂